If you need to access a central file as "read only" you can detach from central. This breaks the link to the central file and will make a separate project. Detached models can be resaved as their own central models, but there is no way to "reattach" so use with caution.
- [Instructor] In most of the examples in the previous chapter, we did some form of the same basic process and that was we've copied over a collection of files, and when we opened it, Revit alerted us that the central file had moved and we had to somehow correct it to point to its new location. As you've seen by now, no doubt, the location of the central file is absolutely critical to its functioning properly, so it does take a certain amount of care on your part to make sure that we don't inadvertently break that connection.
And that's how Revit keeps track of everything in the team and keeps track of everybody's local files and gives them all access. We've spent a lot of time in the previous chapter making sure that we didn't break things, making sure that we didn't lose connection to the central file, and in this chapter, we're gonna talk about the opposite. We're gonna talk about those times when you actually want to break the connection to the central file on purpose. Now, we've actually already seen one example in the previous chapter when we archived the project. So in order to archive the project, we wanted to ensure that we didn't inadvertently have the archived copied version that we created still pointing back to the original and trying to behave like a local copy.
There's actually an alternative way that we could've done that using the detach from central command. But there's a more general use of the detach from central command. You use detach from central anytime you deliberately want to sever the link to the central file. Now, this is a rather extreme thing that you're doing because there is no way to reattach to central. So keep that in mind. So you may be wondering, well, why would I ever want to do that? The simplest and most straightforward reason is maybe your project managers just want to get into the model, look around, take a few measurements, maybe print out a couple views, and then close the model and not save anything.
They don't have any intention of doing any actual work, they just want to go in and kind of check on things. This is a perfect use for detach from central. So let's walk through the basic steps, and let's assume that we're that project manager. So I'm a project manager, and I just wanna check on the team. So I'm gonna go to open here, and you can go to any central file that you have on your system. I'm gonna go to my S Drive, and I'll just go to the 2701 folder, the first project that we created, select my architectural model, and then the most important thing to remember is, in this case, I want to detach it from central.
Now, notice that when I do that, it will uncheck "create new local." So you can't do both, it's one or the other. You're either creating a local and staying attached, or you're detaching and severing the link. So I'll open it up. So then it'll display this message, and for this first example, we'll use the first option to detach and preserve the worksets. When you preserve the worksets, you're not changing anything about the file, you're just simply cutting the link to the central file. So in all other ways, this is the project, like a snapshot in time, but what it looked like at that moment.
Now, I'm a project manager, I open up a floor plan, I zoom around, I click on things, I see what's up with that. Maybe I come in here and I take a measurement with individual references. How big is it from here to here? Checking that, I'm pretty good. So I've satisfied myself that I've got the information that I needed to know, and now I just wanna get out of here. So notice that the name of this file doesn't say "architectural model underscore Paul" it doesn't have my user name because it's not a local file.
It says, "underscore detached." So it's kind of reminding me you are detached from the central right now. So at this point, I could save it as, if I wanted to. Now, what would happen if you saved it as? Well, you would have the same options as before including the fact that what you would actually be saving would now be a central file. So if you do a save as on a detached model, it will become its own central file. And of course, depending on where you save it, your users may or may not even know it's there.
If I want it to be another central file, then I probably wanna give it a good name and I wanna put it in a different location, or I can just say let's close it and I don't want to save it. Because if my intention was to open it "read only" and I didn't really care, then all I have to do is say no here, and that's it. No harm done. So in that workflow where I'm just somebody who wants to open up the project, look around, take a few measurements, maybe print something and close, detached is a great way to go.
Another scenario: It's plot day. So you put out a notice to the office, you send out an e-mail to everybody on the team, and you say, at four o'clock, we're gonna print the set for 75% CD submission, if your changes are not synchronized by four o'clock, they don't make it in the submission. So that means that we want everybody to synchronize before that time, and then at four, somebody is gonna go to open, they're gonna select the model, they're gonna open it detached.
I'm gonna preserve the worksets, I'm not gonna change anything there, and then, I'm gonna print the entire document set. Now, why would I do this detached? Why not just open it up with a normal local? Well, printing can actually create a lot of network traffic, and working with central and local files creates a lot of network traffic. So opening it detached is nice because it won't have to communicate with the central file while you're printing, so it doesn't slow anybody else down. So it's a great way to just let somebody get a snapshot of the project at the moment in time that they need it, we want to issue the set, they can create the pdf, they can print the paper documents, they can export, they can do whatever they want at that point in time, and it's what it looked like at four o'clock on Friday.
And then, while we're at it, we can go ahead and follow the steps that we did in the archiving video, and archive this now so that this model is a record of that point in time. And it's a great way for us to just sort of get that snapshot and let the team keep working without affecting us as we move forward. Otherwise we'd have to kick everybody out and wait for the thing to print and then let everybody back in. And that's a little bit disruptive, right? So detach is another great tool for that. Now, those are just a couple quick examples.
I'm sure you can think of other scenarios where you might wanna detach. The most important thing to understand is sometimes people don't get what detach really means. So a designer will not want to wait for the project to load and the synchronizing and all that sort of stuff because they just wanna work on a small area over here, and they open it up detached because they realize, hey, it's a lot quicker if I do that. And then they come back and they say, well, okay, I like this design that I just created. How do I reattach to central? And, unfortunately, the answer is you can't.
There is no way to reattach to central. Once you're detached, you're detached. So at that point, the only thing you can do is copy and paste. So I could select the geometry that they created off to the side or in the file, and I can open both projects. So you open a new local copy from the live project, you open up their detached model, and then you just start copying and pasting between the two. And it's not ideal, but it will at least recover most of the changes that they created, but the point is, you'd have to recreate those changes in the live project.
And copy and paste will help you do that more quickly, but there's no way to reattach. So anyone in your team who you encourage to use detach, just make sure they understand that. 'Cause once they decide to detach, there's no going back.
Paul F. Aubin teaches you the skills you need to create your central model, configure worksharing settings, and perform ongoing maintenance as the project progresses. Learn how to move a central file, update links, upgrade projects, open local copies in detached mode, and archive the project when it's done. Plus, find out how to monitor sharing and user activity. This course covers all the skills you need to manage worksharing projects from start to finish.
Need to train your users? Have them watch the companion course, Revit Worksharing: Users, which covers the details of creating, editing, and syncing local files.
- Understanding worksets
- Creating a central model
- Moving a central file
- Updating links
- Using worksharing templates
- Archiving a project
- Detaching from central
- Turning off worksharing